Fool for Love, which opens on 28 January 2010 (previews from 25 January), is the first production in a repertory season from theatre company Love&Madness. The season continues until 21 March with two more productions joining the rep: Shakespeare’s Richard III (opening 4 February), featuring Frost as Lady Anne, and a devised piece called Demi Monde, inspired by the designer and socialist William Morris.
Shepard’s 90-minute Fool for Love recounts a painful love story. In a seedy motel room in southern California, May (Frost) and Eddie (Barat) go back beyond their adult lives, back to the legacy of their parents and their parents before. As they challenge each other's versions of events, what emerges through broken images and scraps of remembered colours is a childhood which defines the rest of their lives.
Frost returned to the stage earlier this year, for the first time since the beginning of her career, to star in the one-woman play Touched at Trafalgar Studios. Barat is best known as the former co-frontman, with Pete Doherty, and lead guitarist of the Libertines. His subsequent band, Dirty Pretty Things, broke up in 2008.
Commenting on his change of career direction, Barat said: ““I have always wanted to act, so when Sadie and Neil (Sheppeck, artistic director of Love&Madness) offered me this I was very much up for it. It's certainly one hell of a challenge, but I'm really enjoying the process of collaboration.”
Frost said: “It has been amazing to have been asked to work with Neil Sheppeck and Love&Madness and I have loved the fact that, as a performer, I have been given the rare opportunity to be an integral part of the company’s creative process.” Sheppeck said that, with Frost and Barat, the company, founded in 2000, hoped to “attract a whole new audience into the theatre for the first time”.